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    Chapter 2: The Nature Of Faith

    By Punkerslut

    Start Date: 2001
    Finish Date: 2001

    Section I: Introduction

         It is important that I make it clear that when I speak of Faith, I speak not of the common definition of it, but I speak of its philosophical roots. Commonly believed is that Faith can be interpreted to be a measure of piety. Someone very Faithful would be very religious and someone slightly Faithful would be slightly religious. That is at least the context it is used commonly by society. However, when I imply the term Faith, I mean the philosophical meaning. Faith is the epistemological belief that we can attain knowledge by believing something without proof. It is this concept that I shall criticize.

    Section II: The Fallacy Of Faith

         I do not believe in god for the same reason I do not believe in Santa Claus; both mythical beings, one of adulthood and the other of childhood. God is the supreme being who created this Universe and Santa Claus is the being who creates the presents for children and delivers it to their homes on Christmas Eve. Both beings were taught to individuals by their community, or the authorities of their learning environment. With Santa Claus being the ruling power of the North Pole and god being the ruling power of the heavens, it is quite clear that they both are beings that live far away. With the concept of Faith being necessary to believe both; with a child accepting Santa Claus through Faith and an adult accepting god through Faith, it is quite clear that neither Santa Claus nor god have been demonstrated, nor are either demonstrable (I shall address logical and reasonable attempts to prove the existence of god in the following chapters of this work). The similarities between these two mythical beings could go on indefinitely. Both beings are magical and have supernatural powers. Santa Claus works his magic while individuals are asleep and god works his magic when individuals are dead - both beings need a state of unconsciousness in their followers to work. God rewards with heaven and Santa Claus rewards with presents for doing as they request; and God punishes with hell and Santa Claus punishes with no presents. The point has been clearly made: both beings share a near unlimited amount of similarities.

         There are certainly apologetics to separate Santa Claus and god. To those who declare that Santa Claus has no evidence whilst god does, I shall address those evidences in later chapters. One may disagree on the first point that I drew: that Santa Claus and god are believed on account of authorities in your early life Those who disagree with this point may argue by saying that god revealing himself to individuals is the only reason why individuals believe in a god, whereas Santa Claus does not reveal himself to individuals personally. First, this proposition is not backed with any evidence and the seemingly plentiful amount of discrepancies rule it out entirely. If god truly did reveal himself to individuals, then why are there so many people who believe in different types of gods? To quote Mark Twain (1835-1910), "If he is seeking after the Only True Religion, he found it in one or another of the three thousand that are on the market." [1] Surely, if a god did truly reveal himself to people, then people would not go to wars battling each other over different gods. Between being forced to choose a religion because of religious intolerance and parental teachings, there is nothing much that chooses one's religion. Asia is mostly Islamic and Hindu and has remained is such a position for the last thousand years. [2] Europe is mostly Christian and has remained that way for the last thousand years. [3] Religion is a question of geography. If god speaks to everyone individually and reveals himself that way, then missionaries, the prime reason why Christianity has spread across the globe, would be obsolete. Clearly, the religious beliefs of people is based on what their parents and community have taught them.

         If one were to say that the same god revealed him to different individuals in different methods or different forms, then my first inquiry is, "why?" Certainly, the religionist may concoct one of many various different answers. They may say god is a particular nature who enjoys playing tricks in his followers, or whatnot, but it seems unreasonable, although possible. I may then point out that the natures of these gods are different. The god of Christianity and the god of Islam are significantly different beings, one defined by the Bible and the other by the Qur'an. They are completely different gods - not different forms of the same god. It could possibly be said that they were the same god in different imagery, but they are completely different gods in nature and in composition. Just as a child could have the same personality as an old man, such a comparison is made between the gods, but such an analogy is flawed, as the gods have completely different personalities. Also, what are we to make of religions with no god, as Buddhism and Jainism? There are Buddhists and Jainists who have religious experiences and claim that they are revealed the true religion by the divine. Not only does it separate the different gods, but the different types of religions. And what are we to make of religions with many gods, as Hinduism and Roman mythology? With completely different religions each giving a completely different, although still supernatural, outlook on the origin and workings of the Universe, it is quite clear that all the religions are not spread, developed, or revealed by the same god. The god(s/lessness) of these religions is vastly different from the other religions, and therefore they are not reconcilable under the same character. Through the countless and plentiful discrepancies, to say that god personally reveals himself to individuals rather than being a product of the environment is an error in the many ways I have thus described. To quote Percival Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), "If God has spoken, why is the universe not convinced?" [4]

         Another method for comparing Santa Claus and god is in their locations. Santa Claus is placed in the North Pole whereas god is place is in the heavens, both places conveniently located a distance that is extremely far away from us. In fact, I am sure that few people who believe in Santa Claus or god will ever go to the North Pole or to the heavens. The significance of both beings located far away is that it grants them an explanation for not being demonstrable. We may not travel to the North Pole, and surely we may not travel to the heavens. There are certainly methods for getting to these places. One could demonstrate Santa Claus by searching in the arctic North pole and one could demonstrate god by dying and searching for an afterlife. However, both cases are quite ridiculous, and to state that these beings live far away is simple to excuse their indemonstrable nature. For example, if I doubt the existence of person X in city Y, I can travel to city Y and visit person X, thus confirming or disconfirming my suspicion. Although Santa Claus is in much closer reach in North Pole and at least we have a general idea of where it is, god is in the heavens - the very place in question - both beings are extremely far away, thus disallowing the possibility of confirming or disconfirming their existence. Santa Claus, however, is at least within a demonstrable grasp and therefore may appear to be a more reasonable concept to believe in than a god.

         It is certain that both beings, Santa Claus and god, have magical and supernatural powers. However, some may say that the difference is that Santa Claus has magical powers whereas god has supernatural powers. Although that may be true, it is irrelevant. It is a play on words, as both magical and supernatural are nearly identical concepts. The primary connection between both magical and supernatural that I so clearly wished to show was that they were capable of accomplishing a large amount work with methods that are incapable of usage by the natural beings of this Universe. A normal human cannot fly a normal sleigh and deliver presents to all the Christians in one night just as normal reindeer certainly cannot fly. Similarly, any natural being cannot create universes at the whim of their will. There is certainly proof that what Santa Claus and god do are unnatural actions that break the very laws of physics. Of course this is hypothetically. The gods and supernatural concepts of the various religions are certainly supernatural or magical. The various religions have proven this quite clearly...

    [Judaism] Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
    [Christianity] Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
    [Islam] The Cow, 2.28 How do you deny Allah and you were dead and He gave you life? Again He will cause you to die and again bring you to life, then you shall be brought back to Him.
    [Buddhism] Fourth Noble Truth: There is a way to overcoming all suffering.
    [Hinduism] Katha Upanishad, Part 1, Chapter 1, Verse 16: There are one hundred and one arteries of the heart, one of which pierces the crown of the head. Going upward by it, a man at death attains immortality. But when his prana passes out by other arteries, going in different directions, then he is reborn in the world.
    [Roman Mythology] Prometheus gave fire to man.

         Certainly, these verses may appear to any rational man to be completely absurd in the utmost degree! Who can comprehend of a god creating worlds, of a virgin who is pregnant, of someone being resurrected, of escaping all pain and suffering through an 8 step path, of immortality, or of a god who gives fire - a behavior, not an item - to man? I am not attacking the validity of the scripture, but at a closer glance it does look as though religion is a form of lunacy. I am simply trying to demonstrate that the various religions are certainly supernatural or beyond the natural ability of accomplishing their goals. Santa Claus is the same way. To quote a book in regards to the myth of Santa Claus...

    Santa Claus is not required to visit all 2,000,000,000 children under the age of eighteen, for he does not (appear to ) handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and Buddhist children on Earth. This reduces his workload to perhaps 15% of the total, or 378,000,000, which based upon 3.5 children per household averages down to 91,800,000 homes. With thirty-one hours of Christmas to work with, according to John Michael Keller in Skeptic (Vol. 2, No. 3), thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of Earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical), this works out to 822.6 visits per second. Assuming one good child in each household, this leaves Santa 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh, and move on to the next house. This means that Santa's sleigh moves at 650 miles per second, or 3,000 times the speed of sound. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds, but, assuming each child gets at least two pounds, the sleigh carries 321,300 tons, not counting the overweight Santa. Instead of only eight or nine reindeer, he needs 214,200 for such a load, which must tote 353,430 tons (or four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth). It follows that 353,430 tons traveling at 650 miles per second will create enormous air resistance. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second, each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, and Santa will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. Thus, a 250-pound Santa would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. This, of course, is entirely credible to Christian children, who also believe God is in Heaven and one day if they are good little boys and girls they will be rewarded by seeing Him. [5]

         Clearly, both the gods of the various religions and Santa Claus share the same attribute of unnaturally accomplishing their goals, and whether this be called a form of magic or supernaturalism is to argue linguistics; there is no meaningful difference between the two words. I have made this connection quite clear between both: that both beings are either magical or supernatural.

         There are others who insist that Santa Claus is a myth that evolved from a Christian who gave presents on Christmas Eve, whilst god did not. Although it would appear that religions are built upon older superstitions of primitive man, with Christianity founded on the premises of Judaism and Buddhism founded on the premises of Hinduism, I will simply state that it is irrelevant. Regardless of whether or not Santa Claus or god came from older myths, to point out the roots of Santa Claus and the roots of god is not to excuse the fact that both beings are accepted on Faith without evidences and the primary reason being that both are beings are believed is because authorities teach them without evidence. Insomuch, the argument to separate Santa Claus and god through explaining their roots is dismissed: there is no relevancy is explaining where the myths of god or Santa Claus came from. At least, there is no relevancy in explaining where the myths came from in attempts to separate god and Santa Claus in efforts to prove that god deserves belief whereas Santa Claus does not.

         Another similarity that I shown light on to was the fact that both Santa Claus and god will reward if you do as they wish. Santa Claus delivers presents and god brings you to heaven. To quote Thomas Paine in regards to invisible beings that reward or punish, "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." [6] Similarly, for not doing what Santa Claus or god wish, you are punished, either with no presents (possibly charcoal in their place, as the myth goes) or hell. What the various religions wish is quite different. Judaism will ask that you follow the Ten Commandments, Christianity will ask that you repent and accept Christ as your savior, and Buddhism will ask that you follow the Eight Fold Path. All these religions wish that you do something different to attain their supernatural effects and all of their followers have often given testimony of their religion's own supernatural effects. Santa Claus, on the other hand, is a being who only wishes that boys and girls be good. Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) puts it quite clearly when he states, "The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful." [7]

         Thus far I have neither made attempts to show how Faith in either religion or Santa Claus is flawed. I have only made attempts to show the quite enormous amounts of similarities between both belief structures. I was hoping to show that if the foundation for belief in Santa Claus is unreasonable, thus rendering Santa Claus unreasonable, then if the same foundation is used for belief in god (which I have tried to demonstrate), then it renders god unreasonable.

         If Faith is superfluous, since it may demonstrably prove the existence of Santa Claus or god, then what ought we base our knowledge on? Certainly, only the vice of reason may be acceptable in attaining knowledge. Through reason, demonstration, observance, cause and effect, through naturally explainable methods it is by which we can attain true knowledge. Faith is based on one thing: accepting something as truth without any evidence; and it is by this very concept of Faith that children accept the existence of Santa Claus and adults accept the existence of god, both figures with an astoundingly large amount in common. When we negate Faith, we negate all that which is illogical and unsupported, foolish and unreasonable. When we embrace reason, we accept all that is logical and supported, intelligent and reasonable.

         By reason, I mean we ought only accept something that is logical, consistent with previous facts, and supported with evidence. When something is logical, it does not contradict itself. To be consistent with previous facts is also necessary. For example, we cannot all of a sudden find out that the first flute was invented 600 A.D.E. when we already know that it was first invented 200 B.C.E.. The flute can only have been first invented in on one date. It is surely possible that we may discover it to have been invented earlier for the first time or possibly later for the first time, but it will be one sole date, not two irreconcilable dates. Such would be a historical inconsistency, as there can only be one date when something was first invented, not two. The third requirement of reasonably accepting something is that it is supported with evidence. Certainly, something can be true without evidence, but reason is an epistemological system. It is an epistemological system insomuch that its chief purpose is to help us attain knowledge accurately with the highest chances. If we accept purported facts that have evidence to back them up rather than accepting any purported facts that are logical yet unsustained with evidence, we are more likely to find truth and consistently so. Through reason, we have a higher accuracy of attaining truth, an accuracy that is higher than that of Faith.

         It is certainly true that evidence is significantly helpful when accurately searching for the truth. If someone is on trial, would it at all be reasonable for the jury to convict them on Faith despite lacking evidence? Quite unreasonable it would be! So it is with god who has been put on trial. Certainly, though, god is not fighting any legal accusation, but he is fighting against those who would doubt his existence and the theologians and apologists across the world are his defense attorneys. Is there any evidence to support this god? There certainly has been evidence brought to the attention of society for god and I shall address that; but for a theologian or apologist to claim that we need no evidence for a god or any form of supernaturality is absolutely ludicrous. A prosecutor or defense attorney certainly would not ask anyone to convict someone on grounds of Faith. When someone is to judge something on truth, it should be through reason, evidence, and logic that they accept something as truth. When scientists search for answers, do they look to Faith or do they look to evidence? Scientists, at least true scientists, certainly do not use Faith as their method for obtaining truth. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) is perhaps one of the most brilliant biologists of the modern era. To quote this ingenious man...

    I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine. [8]

    Nor must we overlook the probability of the constant inculcation in a belief in God on the minds of children producing so strong and perhaps so inherited effect on their brains not yet fully developed, that it would be as difficult for them to throw off their belief in God, as for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake. I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic. [9]

         Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was another great thinker in the era of Darwin and is accredited with developing the idea of the modern computer. To quote a passage about Babbage from Darwin's Autobiography...

    Another day he [Babbage] told me that he had seen a pump on a road-side in Italy, with a pious inscription on it to the effect that the owner had erected the pump for the love of God and his country, that the tired wayfarer might drink. This led Babbage to examine the pump closely and he soon discovered that every time that a wayfarer pumped some water for himself, he pumped a larger quantity into the owner's house. Babbage then added-"There is only one thing which I hate more than piety, and that is patriotism." [10]

         Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) was another scientist who did not have Faith. To quote him, "The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more Faith in a shadow than in the church." [11] Thomas Henry Huxley was a Naturalist and scientist, and to quote him, "The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence," [12] and "I have no Faith, very little hope, and as much charity as I can afford." [13] Luther Burbank (1849-1926) was a botanist who bred high-yield fruit trees, vegetables, grains, and other crops. To quote him on religious matters, "The idea that a good God would send people to a burning hell is utterly damnable to me-the ravings of insanity, superstition gone to seed! I don't want to have anything to do with such a God." [14] If there is a scientist who is close to Darwin's influence, it is Albert Einstein (1879-1955) who should surely requires no introduction. He was the German physicist who invented the Theory of Relativity, and to quote him in regards to religion, "I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil." [15] Carl Sagan (1934-1996) is a recent scientist who is very popular and is noted as an explainer of science, and to quote him, "If some good evidence for life after death were announced, I'd be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere anecdote.... Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy." [16] Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) is another brilliant man who wrote 470 books on quarks, quasars, radiation, relativity, gravity, galaxies, and a vast amount of scientific knowledge. To quote him in regards to religion...

    I have never, in all my life, not for one moment, been tempted toward religion of any kind. The fact is that I feel no spiritual void. I have my philosophy of life, which does not include any aspect of the supernatural. [17]

         Certainly, though, there have been many scientists - although not necessarily many famous ones - who have made prominent discoveries and also had Faith in a god, such as Isaac Newton. A point I was trying to demonstrate however is that no scientist who has made any significant contribution to science has had Faith in his theory. With no Faith-based theory, many scientists found that the scrutiny of logic and reason ought not only apply to science, but religious matters, rendering many of them as Atheists and Agnostics. Darwin did not say that man descended from primates and that this was to be believed on Faith. Magellan did not claim that the world was round and that this was to be believed on Faith. And certainly, Albert Einstein did not purport his Theory of Relativity and declare that it needed to be believed on Faith. Certainly not! Their claims would be Quite atrocious if there was no evidence to support them and they would be dismissed if they claimed that Faith was required for belief in their theories. As rational and logical beings, their theories were based on evidence and logic. When we accept something as fact, it is usually on proven grounds. Scientific truths are based on evidence; historic truths are based on evidence; and mathematical truths are based on evidence; so why are religious truths exempt from this pattern insomuch that they are not based on - nor are they said to require - evidence?

         Scientific and historical beliefs vary from religious beliefs. When a scientific belief or a historical belief has the evidence pulled from them, we no longer believe those beliefs. We should, at least, no longer believe those beliefs. However, when a religious belief has its evidence pulled from it, then people still will not pull their belief from such religion (sometimes religious beliefs are formed without any evidence at all, but only on the word of authorities who rely on baseless assertions). I am not saying that it is impossible to pull belief from such doctrines, but only that it rarely occurs when evidence is pulled from religious beliefs. By Faith one may hold onto a religious belief, and it is often by baseless Faith alone that one believes in any religion at all. However, since scientific and historic beliefs stand on the ground of reason, logic, and evidence, they need no Faith. And this is true insomuch we only believe the truths of science and history because of the evidence and not once because of Faith we may or may not have in those ideas. We believe them, surely, but by no regards are they believed through Faith. Religion is believed by the masses, surely, and it is not by evidence, logic, or reason, but by Faith. To quote Arthur Schopenhauer, "Any dogma, no matter how extravagantly absurd, inculcated in childhood, is sure to retain its hold for life." [18] Perhaps another impressive quote is by Thomas Edison (1847-1931)...

    The great trouble is that the preachers get the children from six to seven years of age, and then it is almost impossible to do anything with them. Incurably religious-that is the best way to describe the mental condition of so many people. Incurably religious. [19]

         The only conclusion that I can see is that any hypothesis - be it scientific or religious - must be supported with evidence before it is considered a founded theory, and only after enough evidence and proof should it be considered a fact. A scientist must have reasonable grounds to believe theory X. A jury must have reasonable grounds to believe verdict X. And certainly, if a religionist wishes us to believe in his hypothesis with concerns to the realm of supernaturality, he must present reasonable grounds to believe religion X. However, it is by Faith - not reason or logic - that the religionists asserts we should believe in his religion Faith, with concerns to philosophy and truth, is an abstract epistemological theory that has been able to prove nothing factual; it is by Faith that one can accept Santa Claus or god as truths of the Universe. If we are to find truth, then certainly it must be through reason, logic, and evidence. History has shown that it was been consistently through reason that we obtained truth, not through Faith. Science has prevailed over religion in regards to truth and knowledge. However, there are those who wish to defend this atrocious concept of Faith and I shall now address those defenses.

    Section III: Arguments For Faith

         The primary arguments for Faith are made to demonstrate that everyone - Atheist or Theist - has Faith in something other than a god. These demonstrations are done so to conclude two points: (1) that a Theist is justified in having Faith in god, because everyone else also has Faith, and (2) Faith is necessary as an everyday function in life, and therefore Faith in a god (somehow) applies to everyone as well.

         The first tactic for Faith - since it rather does not really qualify for an argument, in content and purpose - is to mock reason. This can be done in a numerous amount of ways. People could go on indefinitely with of a list of information that cannot be known empirically. One may say, for example, that we may not see the brain in a person's head. Another example is how a blind man cannot see stars. One of the more popular ones among Christians is to demand without expecting an answer, "prove love!" One that is commonly stated is to ask whether you can see the wind or not. Certainly, however, the obscure point they are trying to demonstrate is that knowledge is not all known empirically, and therefore that knowledge cannot be accepted as truth unless by Faith. When I say "empirically," I mean in the sense that something is personally justifiable. Person X, Y, and Z may say that this shoe is brown, but if you can look at the shoe, then you confirm or disconfirm through Empiricism the claim.

         When someone tries to assert that we do not know X (love, wind, etc.) to be true and then claims we believe it, there is a discrepancy that it is to be observed. The discrepancy to be observed is that they claim that something is unknowable, or at least unproven, and then they state that we believe in it regardless. Was it by Faith that Biologists claimed that we have a brain in our bodies? Perhaps it was by Faith that scientists tested and measured? Or was it by the whimsical branch of Faith that Magellan concluded that the world was round? The answer to all of these inquiries is: no. The reason why people believe these things is that they seem logical, they are taught be authorities, and they are proven by authorities. However, two statements are delivered: (1) we do not know that X is true, (2) we believe X is true. We may even substitute the word believe with the word know, as we would take this belief with truth. We are given two irreconcilable sentences: we do not know X is true yet we know X is true. Surely, we may not be able to empirically demonstrate that we have a brain, but we surely can known that we have a think organ that highly resembles a brain, as we surely can think. We may not see the wind, but we can feel it. These things we hold to be truths, although they may not be personally demonstrable, are proven and held as scientific facts. To those who doubt these facts, they may challenge them and rewrite the science books if they are successful.

         The move by Faith advocates to mock reason and logic is quite a ludicrous action to take. By insulting reason, it accomplishes nothing. It is to say that "reason has proven insane things" or "reason cannot prove these simple things," yet it makes its move further: "Faith is equally foolish to reason, so it is justifiable to be Faithful." Faith, as shown in the previous section, is incapable of demonstrating or observing truth. Reason and logic alone have been capable of finding truth in the fields of science and history. When reason and logic are responsible for finding proof in religion they find none. To demonstrate that reason and logic are incapable of finding truth is to arrive at the conclusion that information is impossible. It is not to conclude that some knowledge may be flawed and therefore we must accept a god or another form of supernatural on grounds of Faith; it is to demonstrate Skepticism, the belief that we cannot know any knowledge at all. Our method for attaining knowledge, it claims, is flawed, and therefore Faith - which appears equally flawed - then attempts to make its case.

         In regards to the mocks of knowledge where an sensile deficient person is asked to identify something that their lacking sense can only sense, these arguments require a little bit more of an examination. An example of an argument like this would be to ask if a blind man should not believe in stars or if a deaf man should not believe in music. I offer the counter argument: if a blind man should believe what he is told about the parts of the Universe he cannot empirically demonstrate, would it be reasonable for him to believe the world was flat simply because he was told so and could not prove otherwise? If a deaf man should believe what he is told about the parts of the Universe he cannot empirically demonstrate, would it be reasonable for him to believe that there was no such thing as sound and that he was not really deficient in any way? No matter what this blind or deaf man may be told, they may or may not be inclined to believe it, and any decision would be equally unfounded. If a blind man should believe what he is told about the parts of the Universe that he cannot personally demonstrate (such would be the sun or colors), would that make it reasonable for him to believe whatever he is told about the Universe? For the empirical point of view, it is impossible for a blind man to know the truth about such matters. For a blind man to believe someone when told the world is flat or to believe another when told the world is round are equally justifiable decisions, as both authorities can hold no weight over the other. One could have pictures of the Earth as a sphere, but it would hold to no avail; what use are pictures to a blind man? Unfortunately, a blind man cannot empirically demonstrate the existence of such things as the stars or colors, nor can a deaf man empirically demonstrate the existence of such things as sound. To this end, their beliefs in such regards cannot stand on solid ground.

         The mocking of reason by Faith is an unreasonable position to take. I am debating philosophically and reasonably. As a Rationalist, I wish to be presented with evidence and logic so that men and women may prove their claims about this supposedly existent god or other form of supernaturality. What am I to make of a debate, if my philosophical adversary's best defense is, "You cannot see the wind."? Is the position of Atheism and reason destroyed with such a statement? I would hardly think so. In fact, the entire move itself to mock reason is ridiculously absurd to the highest degrees. In a scientific debate where scientists were arguing about the possibility of a new sea creature that could be harming the environment, would a similar tactic be reasonable? "We may not see the wind. Therefore, this sea creature must be damaging."? No qualified, respectable, or intelligent scientist would form his arguments in such a manner. By Faith mocking reason it becomes quite unreasonable, illogical, and dogmatic.

         Another common approach to proving Faith is to claim that all have Faith. For example, a child has Faith in their parent, a person has Faith in their doctor, a business executive has Faith in his advisors, and so on. Similarly, a Theist will argue that we must have Faith in god through two methods: (a) just as we have Faith in a professional's word about their profession, we must have Faith in a theologian about god, and (b) we must have Faith in the scripture of god, because it commands it. To quote Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)...

    It seems that this doctrine cannot be defended through argument, for Ambrose says, "Away with argument where Faith is sought!" Faith, however, is primarily sought in this doctrine, for as John says, "These things are written in order that you may believe" (Jn. 20:30). Thus sacred doctrine cannot be defended through argument.


    ...it must be said that argument from authority is very appropriate to this doctrine, since its premises are derived from revelation. Thus one must believe in the authority of those to whom the revelation was given. Nor does this fact derogate from the worth of this doctrine, for an argument from authority may be the weakest kind when it is based on human revelation, but it is the strongest kind when based on divine revelation. [20]

         In regards to accepting a what a professional tells us on grounds of Faith, it is flawed for several reasons. Accepting what a theologian or apologist tells us in regards to the supernatural comes to several fatal flaws. Firstly, which theologian ought we believe? A Protestant theologian or a Catholic theologian? A Hindu theologian or a Jainist theologian? Certainly, if it is acceptable to have Faith in a Christian theologian in regards to the divinity of Christ, then certainly it must be acceptable to have Faith in a Hindu theologian in regards to the divinity if Vishnu. The error is that it proves too much information, and the information is irreconcilable with the other attained information. A Christian theologian may prove Christ as divine and a Buddhist theologian may prove Buddha divine, but both cannot be the same god in a Monotheistic outlook. Through the same method of Faith, we come at invariably many completely different answers. If we were to search the globe and look for theologians that belong to every religion, then we would end up with thousands of different answers that we make take on Faith. In fact, what qualifies a person as a theological expert? Is it mere belief in such matters? Certainly not. An Atheist could read the Qur'an, the Vedas, or the Bible and come to their own conclusions, possibly strengthening their Atheism. They would be equally qualified to the other theologians of the other various religions. To quote Thomas Paine in regard to Atheists resulting from Christianity...

    Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself, than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid, or produces only atheists and fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism; and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests; but so far as respects the good of man in general, it leads to nothing here or hereafter. [21]

         An Atheist, however, may be just as qualified as a theologian, or at least could be just as qualified in such matters. This does not make their opinion better, but it only means that they are equally well informed. Ought we accept the word of any theologian of any religion blindly, thus arriving at one of a near infinite amount of possible conclusions, or ought we accept the word of an Atheist in regards to religion blindly? However, we could come to a logical and legitimate conclusion that to accept what a theologian tells us on Faith will result in finding no answers at all. Faith thus proves nothing. We ought to accept what is reasonable and logical.

         What, then, do we say in regards to the Faith that we already have in authority figures? Certainly, this must be addressed. Two professionals may argue each other on the validity of their conclusions. Admittedly, evidence is a key part and if a professional can bring forth evidence and explain it legitimately, we may take the evidence which he has brought forward. The other professional may argue against the validity of such evidence. Through this method, different professionals may argue each other and with evidence, reasoning, observation, and demonstration; they may prove their theories.

         The second method for demonstrating that we ought have Faith in authority is to claim that the Bible was written "to be believed on Faith," as Aquinas pointed out that the book of John said similarly. However, the fact that the Bible was written to be believed in no way warrants that we ought to believe it. The Qur'an, Confucian writings, and the Vedas were also all written to be believed. The Qur'an is surely an authority of Islam, the Confucian writings are certainly an authority of Confucianism, and the Vedas are certainly an authority of Hinduism. Why should we not accept them any more than we should accept any other religious scripture? In fact, if the Atheistic books over the century were written to be believed, may we not also believe them? We run into the same flaws as we do when we consider believing theologians due to their authority: they all come to different opinions. Similarly - just as we arrived at how we may take a professionals word (if they argue each other for validity of their claims) - we should believe books and articles based on the reasoning and evidence they produce. Just as I am sure that there are hundreds of books on theology written by many authors, there are also many books written on the topic of Atheism. Evidences by many theologians and religionists over the centuries have been offered as proof of the supernatural elements of their religion. It is within the later part of this work that I argue against their evidences and proofs.

         A final attempt to reconcile the Atheist and Theist position that they both take their beliefs on Faith is to say that an Atheist believes that god does not exist or is not likely to exist just as a Theist believes that god does exist. This is stated insomuch to demonstrate that both an Atheist and a Theist have beliefs and - at least it is insinuated - these beliefs are equal in their validity. Some would say that through reason we know things and through Faith we believe things. However, I would not say that I know anything unless I was absolutely sure of its validity. The difference between the beliefs of one person and the next is that one may be verifiable through logic and reason. Surely, a Theist and an Atheist both have their own beliefs that ought to be respected, but in no way does this insinuate that they are equal in regards to validity. It is through logic and reason that I wish to prove Atheism.

    Section IV: Conclusion

         Through the seemingly large list of similarities that can be construed between god and Santa Claus - the primary similarity being that both beings are and have been believed on Faith - we come to the conclusion that Faith, as far as an epistemological construct, is inept. Both Santa Claus and god live far away, threaten and reward us, and both were learned the same method: through authorities. If we wish to know knowledge and truth, it is certainly not by ignoring evidence or accepting something without evidence. It is through reason, logic, and evidence that we can find truth. It was through these principles that we found truth in the scientific, historical, and mathematical fields. It should also be how we look for truth in the theological field. There are arguments for Faith, however. There are those who argue for Faith and declare that knowledge is flawed insomuch that we may not see the wind or microscopic organisms, and that we accept their existence on Faith. However, this is certainly not true, as there are scientists and biologists who have discovered the existence of such invisible things. They offer evidence and proof. Once they hold the evidence and proof, it is now on the Skeptic's hands to debunk the proof to the point where the claim may no longer stand. The point of this argument is trying to demonstrate something that is not empirically true and therefore is not true at all, however not all knowledge must be empirically demonstrated, but at least empirically demonstrable.

         There are also those who argue for Faith by declaring that we should accept the word of authority, either the theologian's authority or the scripture's authority. The error with accepting a theologian's word on Faith is that the theologian - unlike the other professions - has no evidence. Other professions offer evidence to their claims. Furthermore, an Atheist can be trained in theology very well and that would qualify them as being equal in the decision to any other theologian. To say that the scripture was written to be believed is equally foolish. Books and writings must have evidence and reasoning to support themselves. I am sure that every non-fictional book was written to be believed, but if we believe them all we will encounter an enormously large amount of contradictions and discrepancies. There are opposing views on all the subjects of non-fictional books, including biology, ecology, and economics, and especially in theology and philosophy. Simply because these books were written "to be believed" in no right grants them a justification for Faith. The last apologetic for Faith is to say that both an Atheist and a Theist believe beliefs and thus they are equaled in legitimacy, but this is not so, as certain beliefs can be justified and proven through reasoning and logic whereas those that cannot be justified or proven through reasoning and logic - those beliefs accepted on Faith - are dogmatic. All apologetics for Faith stumble upon numerous and countless contradictions and errors.

         Now that Faith has been debunked, it is absolutely necessary that this epistemological system remains buried. Let Faith rise up no more to make fallacious and unproven claims. If we are to find truth, it must be supported with evidence and logical reasoning. I shall examine and criticize the evidences offered for the existence of a god or supernaturality in the following chapters, dedicating one chapter to the possibility of the existence of god. Now that Faith has been incapable of finding god legitimately, will the evidences and proofs held for the existence of god stand examination?


    1. What Great Men Think Of Religion, by Ira D. Cardiff, (Christopher Publishing House, 1945; reprint New York: Arno Press, 1972).
    2. Encyclopeaia Britannica, Inc., Chicago, Ill., Britannica Book of the Year.
    3. Encyclopeaia Britannica, Inc., Chicago, Ill., Britannica Book of the Year.
    4. A Letter to Lord Ellenborough, by Percival Bysshe Shelley, 1812.
    5. Who's Who In Hell, under "SANTA CLAUS," compiled by Warren Allen Smith (Barricade Books, 2000). Permission obtained from Warren Allen Smith to quote his book. Also see The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey by Roger Highfield (November, 1999). Also see works by Tom W. Flynn, known as the Anti-Santa Claus.
    6. The Age Of Reason, by Thomas Paine, Chapter 1, The Author's Profession of Faith.
    7. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon.
    8. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, by Charles Darwin, Edited by Nora Barlow, page 87, Section: "Religious Belief" (Norton & Company: New York and London, 1959).
    9. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, by Charles Darwin, Edited by Nora Barlow, pages 93-94, Section: "Religious Belief" (Norton & Company: New York and London, 1959).
    10. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, by Charles Darwin, Edited by Nora Barlow, page 108, Section: "Religious Belief" (Norton & Company: New York and London, 1959).
    11. The Great Quotations, by George Seldes, ed., (New York: Lyle Stuart, 1960).
    12. Ibidem
    13. What Great Men Think Of Religion, by Ira D. Cardiff (Christopher Publishing House, 1945; reprint New York: Arno Press, 1972).
    14. Address to members of the First Congregational Church, San Francisco, January 31, 1926.
    15. Einstein as quoted in a memoir by Life editor William Miller, Life, May 2, 1955.
    16. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan, page 204 (New York: Random House, 1996).
    17. I. Asimov: A Memoir, (New York: Doubleday, 1994), page 13.
    18. Views of Religion, by Rufus K. Noyes (Boston, L. K. Washburn, 1906).
    19. Conversation with Joseph Lewis on December 3, 1929, reported in Joseph Lewis, Atheism and Other Addresses (reprint New York: Arno Press, 1972).
    20. Summa Theologiae, by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Chapter 8.
    21. The Age Of Reason, by Thomas Paine, Part II, Chapter II.

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